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The diminishing Real Estate sales: Are we missing the Clue?

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by Saket Pathak

There are many speculations being made on the current real estate market condition in India. There are many reports as well; each report has one indication in common that the real estate is currently going through a rough patch. Sales are not happening as per the expectations and developers are struggling with the unsold inventories. Many of them have started selling them at a bare minimum price, just to get rid of the unsold inventory and keep the flow of fund intact.

So, we thought why not to analyse what is the current demands and the mood of the market. To analysis this situation we took help of various online Data, such as search trends, decision behaviour flow, website visits and primary data source.

There are many innovations happening in the digital domain to collate and interpreted data which are normally referred as ‘Big Data’. It is nothing but a kind of data collections of human behaviour in digital space which is further analysed to get the insights in the form of trends.

When we tried to analyse the trend of searches happened in real estate market in last 4 years, we found out that the residential property searches have doubled and the search for commercial properties remained almost same (All India Data). We thought that it may be a little-skewed data and some of the markets may have performed better than others. So, we further fine-tuned our data analysis. But to our surprise, there were some specific markets which threw similar trends and some showed even better results (Hyderabad and Chennai).

What does it mean? If the searches are happening, why the property sales are not happening?  If the people are finding properties, why they are not buying it!

Let’s understand what people are searching to support their decision to buy properties in current market condition:

  1. Location: Location still holds the key and project locations are still something which matter the most
  2. Price compare: After location, the second big phenomenon today is the price point and it holds the second spot in decision making process
  3. Review/Real Estate Forum: The third slot today in real estate market is grabbed by forums. Our guess, consumers are trying to find relative information about specific builders and they are trying to connect with individuals before they make any decisions to buy a property
  4. Approval Status: The forth position in searches is occupied by approval status. It suggests that people are trying to ascertain the stage of project development.
  5. News and other stories: The fifth slot is occupied by the news stories. It means that the users are trying to find more company related information online

Taking clue from the search trends, we then tried to understand the final sales cycle or the final decision making procedure. To better analyse that, we ran several campaigns to assess the responses generated by end users. Here are some of the inferences:

  1. The Ask: “I know the project. Tell me the price and what are the best available options for me?
  2. Delivery: What’s the delivery status of the project? Can we have a ready to move-in options?
  3. Waiting: Consumers are asking for more time to assess the project and they are seeking more clarity before the final deals
  4. Smart Buy: The customers are becoming much smarter and they are even bargaining to negotiate on various commissions
  5. RERA: Few buyers are aware of RERA and they are asking about the RERA compliance

When we analysed these inferences, we reached this conclusion:

  1. Yes, the search trends suggest a handsome rise in demand, but it’s largely driven by repeated data flow.
  2. The buyers are more aware and are trying to find more relevant information available online than compared to the 2013-14 market.
  3. Customers today have got more negotiation power compared to the previous years.
  4. The promised ad punches are not enough to sell your properties
  5. Commitments can’t be kept in dark, it has to be visible in black and white

So what is here for the marketers and the real estate developers! Are they missing any link while formulating their marketing plans! Yes, there is a gap in their approach. In fact, what they are missing is the Buyers’ Sentiment Analysis.

Indian consumers were and are real estate investors first and they will always be like that.  It is therefore that the final purchase in the residential market is done by those who are actually in need of a home, whereas for commercial sales the amount of leased property index is something which buyers are interested in.

Again, are we getting the clue!

A Branding and Marketing Strategist to the core, Saket’s forte lies in analyzing consumer behavior and then designing the apt digital marketing campaigns for the desired results. Having professional experience of more than 10 years, Saket has worked for various brands in sectors like education, pharmaceuticals, FMCG, infrastructure, consumer durables etc.

 

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